Milan, July 11 - A "Welcome to Italy" social media project this week began showcasing Italy's artistic, historic and landscape heritage through 100 historic postcards posted by the Italian tourism institution Touring Club Italiano.
The idea is to spark interest in visiting Italy in time for the food-themed Milan Expo 2015, which runs May to October 2015.
Expo's theme is "Feeding the planet. Energy for Life" focuses on nutrition, food security, sustainable food practices - and celebrates global culinary cultures.
Promoted by Milan Expo 2015, the virtual tour displays archival photos of Italy's most beautiful or remarkable sites every day on Facebook and Twitter through September 15.
A site created on Tumblr is taking Internet perusers through an album of 200 sight-seeing images of lakes, mountains, beaches, cities and monuments until Expo's opening on May 1, 2015. Meanwhile, a project to make all information concerning the planning, organisation and financial management of Expo 2015 available on internet "is a decisive step forward" for transparency, CEO Giuseppe Sala said at a presentation this week.
Open Expo is the result of an agreement between the World's Fair and Italian open government initiative Wikitalia.
The project will "accompany - by simplifying, going into greater detail and especially ensuring easier access to data -the work that already appears in the Transparent Administration section of the website", Sala said.
In addition, two contests dedicated to women in the context of Milan Expo 2015 have opened their call for entry submissions.
One competition will honour the best start-up projects undertaken by women. The second will award the best projects for promoting women. The competitions are an initiative of Women for Expo (WE), a joint project between Milan Expo 2015, the Italian pavilion and the Italian foreign ministry.
The first three winners will receive 40,000 euros, 30,000 euros and 10,000 euros respectively, in addition to exhibit exposure in the Italian pavilion at Expo. The third prize will be reserved for contestants under age 35.
The top 100 entries will receive exhibit space in the Italian pavilion for seven days during Expo in a dedicated section of the Italy pavilion as well as online visibility through a Website. Contest entries can be entered on the Website wepadiglioneitalia.ideatre60.it. The deadline for submission is October 31. Businesswomen or aspiring businesswomen, associations, non-governmental organizations and foundations located in Italy are eligible. "It will be women, in fact, who have natural familiarity with the theme of nutrition to take care of and supply energy to life, the inevitable protagonists of the Universal Exposition," said Diana Bracco, general commissioner of the Italian pavilion.
A study this week revealed that Italians increasingly conscious of avoiding food waste, yet will throw away an estimated 8.1 billion euros worth this year, the equivalent of 6.5 euros per week per family.
Waste in 2014 is down from an estimated 8.7 billion euros last year, according to the 2014 Waste Watcher Knowledge report by survey research companies SWG and Last Minute Market for Milan Expo 2015. The report added that 63% of Italian respondents said they actively try to prevent food waste and 81% reported checking the expiration date before throwing anything out.
One third of the food produced worldwide - or roughly 1.6 billion tons worth 750 billion US dollars - never reaches our stomachs, the report said.